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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you have a laying worker and want to introduce a mated queen; what is the best way to do this? I did see a you tube video about shaking the frames out in front of the hive but can't remember how the queen was introduced. I know she was in the hive to give off her pheromone but how and when was she introduced? It would have to be after the frames of bees were removed...

OR do you have any other workable correction for the hive?
 

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Unfortunately, introducing a laying queen into a LW hive is complex.

LW hives do not have one laying worker they normally have many, plus non laying worker bees that are part way through the transition. Shaking the bees out in the hope that only the non LW bees will return to the hive and allow it to be requeened has very low odds of working, almost every time the new queen will be killed.

To requeen the hive, you have to transition the LW bees back to normal bees. This is done by giving the hive unsealed brood once a week three times. Exposure to the brood pheremones inhibits the laying workers. Once this happens the bees will realise they are queenless and build queen cells. At this point they are ready to be requeened. (After killing the queen cells of course).

However it should be said that the whole process is consuming of resources from other hives, your own time, and is still not 100% fullproof. So most experienced beekeepers do not attempt to requeen a LW hive, instead they utilise the bees by adding them to other hives, a common way to do this is shake them out on the ground and remove the hive, forcing them to find their way into other hives in the apiary. This should be done in such a way that they do not overwhelmingly move into just one other hive, possibly in numbers big enough to be a threat to the queen of that hive.


There is one exception to all this, if you have a capped queen cell available. LW hives will often accept a queen cell, and also usually accept the virgin that emerges from it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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Thank you for the helpful information. I had been thinking of just shaking them out or adding them to other hives by way of the newspaper method. Would that work as well? I have a couple of splits that I don't want overwhelmed so would restrict their hive entrances if I shook them out and removed their hive.
 

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Yes, both a shakeout, and a combine, can work. If you do a newspaper combine, also use a queen excluder where the newspaper is and leave in place for 3 weeks. That is to ensure the good queen cannot accidentally cross over into a bunch of unfriendly bees before they have accepted each other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you, Michael. I read your information and it is very well presented. I still have to do a thorough check of this one hive and will probably just shake out the bees if it's a laying worker hive. It's in my back yard but I don't want to take more frames from the other ones I have for this one.

One question though: I wasn't sure if you meant to add one or more hive box (the laying worker one) on top of a strong one. Wouldn't that get to be too high?

Oldtimer- if you added a queen excluder between the main hive and the new queen, wouldn't the bees from below have access to her even if she didn't go down into the main part of the hive?
 

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There is one exception to all this, if you have a capped queen cell available. LW hives will often accept a queen cell, and also usually accept the virgin that emerges from it.
Yes, we do this a lot in hives that didn't "catch" a queen the first time around and are primarily younger bees just beginning to show lw activity. A frame of open brood, a frame of mostly sealed brood and a ripe cell. I would estimate this works for us 70 to 80% of the time. The higher percentage of queenright bees to queenless bees seems to translate to a higher percentage of success.
 

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Oldtimer- if you added a queen excluder between the main hive and the new queen, wouldn't the bees from below have access to her even if she didn't go down into the main part of the hive?
Yes, but-

The way i do it is leave the queenright hive in it's original location, and move the LW hive to on top of it. I try to ensure the queenright hive has more bees than the LW hive, and there will be enough bees to protect the queen from any hostiles as they work their way down.

In more detail, i get pretty much 100% success using this method. - Remove any honey boxes from the queenright hive so it's down to the brood area. Put 3 sheets of newspaper on top and punch a finger sized hole in the middle. put a queen excluder on, and put the LW hive on top. Put any honey boxes on top of that. Leave 3 weeks, then remove the excluder and re arrange hive how you want it.

One tip, if the queenright hive has honeyboxes on, putting the LW hive on top of that will often not work, the bees keep their distance and are not exposed to enough brood pheremone to suppress the LW'ers. The LW hive must be put directly above the brood nest of the other hive.
 

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>One question though: I wasn't sure if you meant to add one or more hive box (the laying worker one) on top of a strong one. Wouldn't that get to be too high?

I've had hives so tall I was putting boxes on with a stepladder... The main thing if you want to combine a laying worker hive, is I would use a double screen board so the bees can smell the pheromones from open brood from the queenright hive for a couple of weeks. Then you can introduce a queen if you like or combine if you like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Michael and Oldtimer- One question; if the lw hive box is on the qr hive, do you have a hole in the lw box for their exit and entrance?
 

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Some people do but i don't because i punch a finger sized hole in the newspaper, they can enlarge it for more ventilation and the lack of another entrance forces them to mix with the other bees.
 

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I have used a screen bottom board positioned atop the lw hive with a queenrite hive above it.

Just be sure to prevent the lw hive from being able to exit via directly underneath the screen bottom board. 10" of vertical distance (1 box) between the entrances prevented most, if not all fighting.

After a week, pull the screen board from between and combine.

This could also be done with window screen between and a top entrance, but I still have a few screen bottom boards left. I like the control of the screen removal more, as I have always found a way to screw up something as simple as newspaper, killing good nucs with large lw hives.
 

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I have always found a way to screw up something as simple as newspaper, killing good nucs with large lw hives.
Success rate newspaper combining larger LW hive onto weaker nuc and NOT using a queen excluder likely to be under 50%.
 

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Success rate newspaper combining larger LW hive onto weaker nuc and NOT using a queen excluder likely to be under 50%.
That's why I use the screen bottom board between them. Ain't nobody getting at each other thru that. Lol. After a week, there's been enough whispers thru the screen that they are all friends.
 
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